Yahoo! CEO Drama May Delay Strategy; Klout Ad Network?; LiveIntent Targeting Email Audience

As The Yahoo TurnsHere’s today’s news round-up… Want it by email? Sign-up here.

Yahoo! CEO Drama

The “are you kidding me?” drama continues to unfold at Yahoo! around the details of CEO Scott Thompson’s bio. He evidently claimed a computer science degree that he didn’t have and this may bring down his short reign as CEO according to some pundits. All Things D’s Kara Swisher thinks the sale of Yahoo!’s illiquid Asian assets may keep Thompson in his CEO job. She reasons that the flip-side – a CEO-less company – could scuttle a deal and “This is a sale that must — and I underscore must — get done and soon, giving Yahoo much-needed breathing room and a whole lot of cash to fork over to increasingly disgruntled shareholders.” Read more. Former Yahoo! RMX’er Pat McCarthy disagrees and tweets, “…even though Thompson is in the middle of deals, he’s going to have no respect negotiating.” If so, a lack of leverage could play into scuttling plans for a long-rumored sale of Right Media Exchange – or whatever plans Yahoo! has for the $680 million granddaddy of exchanges.

Klout Ad Network?

Here comes another pixel. Tim Peterson covers the news on Adweek as social influence monitor Klout says that it will bring its +K button to the Web – not just Peterson explains the potential Web use case: “The +K button enables users to vouch for whether a Klout user should be considered influential on a given topic with a simple click of a mouse. So theoretically a Web-wide rollout would allow a brand or publisher to embed the button on their site and solicit visitors to rate them as influential on a given topic.” Read more. Hmmm.. I’d say that the Web-wide button could set Klout up for a more scalable ad network – assuming it will build one – rather than just using its own first-party, cookies. It would extend the current, Klout “perks” ad model, too, where brands could buy Klout influencers beyond and through exchange-like inventory sources and large publishers hooking into the +K cookie pool. Klout also could be the privacy solution of the future where the user WANTS to be cookied so that the user can better sell his/her value to advertisers and others who want to buy influence.

Big Fine

Bloomberg says that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is ready to take action against Google for going around Apple’s Safari browser privacy settings and setting cookies. Bloomberg’s Sara Forden reminds the reader, “Google signed a consent decree with the FTC last year in which it settled allegations it used deceptive tactics and violated its own privacy policies in introducing the Buzz social-networking service in 2010. (…)” Read more. That means a big fine may come Google’s way – currently rumored at $10 million with the EU still looking over documents which may result in an additional pound(s) of flesh.

Platform, Plumbing, Publisher

In an opinion piece on Ad Age, the ubiquitous Ian Schafer of Deep Focus chastises those who classify Facebook as a publisher and think it should drive revenues similarly. He says it’s a platform and writes, “Solely blaming Facebook for their inability to deliver advertising ROI, or enough metrics, is like blaming the school you went to for your salary not being high enough. Advertisers are in full control of the experiences they create on and off the platform.” Read more.

Audience Thru Email

Aiming at driving up the value of a publisher’s email subscribers, LiveIntent announced its new platform LFX. The company says DSPs, ad networks and the like can now bid on a list’s audience. The release explains, “Campaigns can be targeted based on location, device, time of day and browser, as well as demographics including gender, age and household income. For even greater targeting sophistication, first and third party data can be used (…).” The email channel is steadily being unlocked for audience buying. Read more.

Have You Seen It?

Sometimes there is required reading. And now, there is required viewing. If you haven’t seen the video version of Facebook’s IPO roadshow, it is something Martin Scorsese would be proud of as Facebook makes its case for being part of our lives. This is not your normal roadshow presentation as the company’s CFO David Ebersman states at the very beginning. View it. Marketers will love this “film” and it’s available in movie-quality resolution. To paraphrase CEO Mark Zuckerberg in the video, Facebook is building a platform so other people can build experiences. Warning to A.D.D. types – you’re gonna need to set aside some time (30 minutes +1 minute for a Diageo case study) because you can’t skip around – unless you’d like to use this version on YouTube, which is at a slightly lower rez.

Frienemies And Publishers

Noting the recent AdAudience partnership with Audience Science in Germany, and the imminent launch of Audience Square and AdMediaPremium in France, Maxifier COO Denise Collela sees the partnering going on between tech companies who are aggregating inventory as a net positive for publishers. She writes in AdMonsters, “These conflicts of interest will likely cause rival firms to adopt new means of differentiation while, at the same time, collaboration provides a means for publishers to compete more effectively and re-balance the equilibrium in the online advertising environment, which has swung too much away from them in recent years.” What’s also interesting is that there appears to be opportunity to create exchange-like companies in spite of the fact Google’s exchange continues to grow, let alone other similar offerings such as Right Media Exchange or AppNexus. Unique, geographically-focused aggregation with scale echoes the continued value of vertical ad networks as buyers seek the right audience for their campaigns. Read more.


On his company’s blog, CRO James Moore provides his Top 10 list on alternatives to “last touch” attribution. Topping the list among the alternatives: “The Talladega Nights Touch: The advertising vendor who serves the first impression gets full credit when the prospect converts. Why? Because this makes just as much sense as giving credit to the last vendor who touched the prospect. If you’re not first, you’re last.” Read ’em.

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